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Recent Posts

  • Convocation Recognizes Achievement
  • Ford Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Kerksick Receives Young Alumni Award
  • Student Loan Default Rate Remains at 0%
  • Plough Foundation Awards SCO $300,000 Grant
  • Scholarships Awarded to Class of 2016
  • SCO Accepting Honorary Degree Nominations
  • Schnell Named CE Director
  • SCO Students Win Awards at NOA Conference
  • Kehbein Joins Faculty

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  • Convocation Recognizes Achievement

    Southern College of Optometry (SCO) held its 27th annual Convocation ceremony on Thursday, October 4 to honor achievement by SCO’s alumni, students, faculty, and staff.

    First-year students were formally welcomed into the profession of optometry by receiving their white coats, signing SCO’s academic honor code and reciting the optometric oath for students. Scholarships and other honors totaling nearly $100,000 were awarded in recognition of academic excellence, leadership or service. Many student scholarships were made possible through the generous and consistent financial support of SCO alumni to the Annual Fund and the Endowed Scholarship Fund.

    Among those recognized:

    Military Services Scholarships

    • U.S. Air Force: Megan Kortum ’13, Marc Musto ’15
    • U.S. Army: Derek Black, ’13, Todd Christensen ’14, Amy Combs ’14, Andrew Loudon ’14, Diana Pust ’13
    • U.S. Navy: Katherine Allen ’16, Jordan Paul ’14

    Class Scholarships
    The following Endowed Class Scholarships recognize outstanding leadership and professionalism by members of the Classes of 2013, 2014, and 2015.

    • Classes of ’54, ’56, ’59 Scholarship ($1,000): Christina Grosshans ’14
    • Classes of ’60, ’61, ’63 Scholarship ($1,000): Aja Kimrey ’15
    • Classes of ’64, ’65, ’66 Scholarship ($1,000): Stacey Hoins ’14
    • Classes of ’67, ’68, ’69 Scholarship ($1,000): Kaila Egan ’13
    • Classes of ’70, ’71, ’74 Scholarship ($2,000): David Hite ’13
    • Class of 1977 Scholarship ($2,000): Brittany Radke ’13
    • Class of 1978 Scholarship ($1,000): Lekha Samuel ’14, Ashley Ballard ’14
    • Class of 1984 Scholarship ($1,000): Justin Jackman ’13, Christopher Prough ’14
    • Class of 1997 Jimmy Sheridan Memorial Scholarship ($1,000): Keri Cassels ’14
    • Class of 2001 Scott Whitaker Memorial Scholarship ($1,000): Adam Young ’14

    Alumni and Friends Scholarships:
    SCO alumni and friends generously support and recognize academic accomplishments and leadership within the student body. As such, the following endowed scholarships and awards have been established in support of SCO students.

    • Rosemore Family Endowed Scholarship ($2,000): Jennifer Henry ’13, Ashley Gentrup ’13, Stephanie Lew ’14
    • National Board of Examiners in Optometry Award ($500): Nathan Rock ’13, Robyn Christenson ’13
    • Mauldin Family Scholarship ($1,000): Sara Faulkenberry ’13
    • James and Edna Duncan Award ($500): Kathryn Huebner ’14
    • Alumni Council Endowed Scholarship ($1,000): Heather Jones ’13
    • Dr. Allan and Mrs. Susan Barker Endowed Scholarship ($2,000): Erinn Tolomei ’14
    • Dr. Freddy Wilfred Chang Endowed Scholarship ($1,000): Nathan Rock ’13
    • W. David Sullins Endowed Scholarship for Leadership ($1,000): Scott Matthews ’13
    • Dr. Charles L. Haine Human Physiology Endowed Award ($1,000): Andrew Brown ’15
    • Wayne W. Pyeatt Endowed Scholarship ($2,000): Robyn Christensen ’13
    • Peggy Remke Memorial Endowed Scholarship ($2,000): Kyle Kragenbrink ’13
    • Dr. John A. Gazaway Endowed Scholarship ($1,000): Samuel Johnson ’13
    • Kansas Alumni Endowed Scholarship ($1,000): Brandon Hadel ’14

    State and Professional Association Scholarships

    • Kentucky Optometric Association Scholarship ($1,000): Amanda Phelps ’13, Canaan Montgomery ’14
    • Michigan Foundation for Vision Awareness Scholarship ($4,000): Heather Jones ’13
    • Mississippi Optometric Association Scholarship, honoring Dr. William E. Cochran ($1,000): Aubrey Fulton ’13
    • Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians Scholarship ($1,000): Jennifer Elder ’13
    • The Virginia Lindsey Lions Leadership Award: Ellen Elmore ’13

    Corporate Partners and Ophthalmic Industry

    • OneSight Research Foundation Dr. Stanley Pearle Scholarship ($2,000): Ellen Elmore ’13, Janine Henry ’13
    • Review of Optometry Award ($500): Meaghan Horton ’14
    • Walman Optical Company Award ($1,800): Lucas Cook ’14, Heather Jones ’13, Samantha Triplett ’14
    • J. Pat Cummings Scholarship ($1,000): Catherine Kerr-Niermann ’13
    • Vision Service Plan Scholarships ($4,000): Nora Cothran ’13, Ellen Elmore ’13
    • UPS Scholarships ($2,400): Ashley Helton ’13
    • Wal-Mart Scholarship ($1,000): Jordan Rothlisberger ’15, Jenna Hall ’14, Landon Brewer ’13
    • Wal-Mart Project Foresight Team Award ($16,500): Justin Jackman ’13, Joshua Watt ’13
    • Precision Optical Laboratories Endowed Scholarships ($2,000): Janine Henry ’13, Allison Lyerly ’13
    • Ocular Instruments Award (Product Certificate): Elena Lopez ’15, Susan Evans ’14, Megan Johnson ’13
    • Welch Allyan Co. Award (Panoptic Ophthalmoscope): Emily Evans ’15
    • Heine USA Award (Hand-Held Slit Lamp): Sara Myers ’13
    • Keeler Instruments Award (Combi Retinoscope): Barbara Jodoin ’15

    Basic Science and Clinical Science Awards

    1st Year Basic Science Awards:

    • Andrew Brown
    • Alison Bozung
    • Jacob Dufour
    • Elizabeth Fioravanti
    • Michelle Glass
    • Aja Kimrey
    • Jacob Muller
    • Michael Richardson
    • Scott Ronhovde
    • Jessica Taylor

    1st Year Clinical Science Awards:

    • Emily Evans
    • Craig Hossenlopp
    • Barbara Jodoin
    • Aja Kimrey
    • Kaitlin Mayo
    • Jacob Muller
    • Cody Patterson
    • Jessica Taylor
    • Michael Wiles
    • Kaeleen Zink

    2nd Year Basic Science Awards

    • Bret Butterfield
    • Stacey Hoins
    • Lucas Cook
    • Micah Juedes
    • Anna Lammers
    • Christina Grosshans
    • Nathan Stahr
    • Sarah Thompson
    • Erinn Tolomei
    • Douglas Wright

    2nd Year Clinical Science Awards:

    • Leah Beckman
    • Robert Botts
    • Andrew Bradbury
    • Savannah Brunt
    • Keri Cassels
    • Ross Chatwin
    • Susan Evans
    • Daniel Foster
    • Erinn Tolomei
    • Ashley Varakalayil

    3rd Year Clinical Skills Awards ($1,000)
    Given in memory of former faculty member, Dr. Robert L. Henry

    • Jennifer Allee
    • Kathryn Barberic
    • Nora Cothran
    • Ellen Elmore
    • Jessica Elmore
    • Aubrey Fulton
    • Ashley Gentrup
    • Lauren Krawczyk
    • Sara Myers
    • Diana Pust

    Faculty of the Year (2011-12)

    BSK Teacher of the Year Awards
    Didactic: Dr. Scott Ensor
    Clinic: Dr. William Kress

    Class of 2015
    Didactic: Dr. John Mark Jackson
    Clinic: Dr. Carrie Lebowitz

    Class of 2014
    Didactic: Dr. Scott Ensor
    Clinic: Dr. William Kress

    Class of 2013
    Didactic: Dr. Jared Powelson
    Clinic: Dr. William Kress

    Burnett Faculty Recognition Award
    Established by Charlene Burnett, OD ’83, and Fred Burnett, OD ’80, in recognition of an outstanding faculty member as selected by his or her peers.
    Dr. John Mark Jackson

    Board of Trustees Resolution
    Samuel Johnson, ’13

    President’s Special Recognition Awards
    Given by SCO’s President in recognition of exemplary service to the college.
    Staff: Ken Coble
    Faculty: Dr. Jennifer Sanderson

    Lifetime Achievement Award
    Nathan Ford, OD ’50,
    is an East Tennessee native who joined the Navy at age 17 during World War II. Following his graduation from SCO, he became his county’s first full-time optometrist. A devoted advocate for education, he was elected at age 27 to his local school board, and several years later, he was elected to four terms in the Tennessee legislature. The practice he started in 1950 later recruited SCO graduates from the Classes of 1961, 1981, 1995 and 2010. Although Dr. Ford retired in 1990, his practice continues through the car of his fellow alumni. In his community he has served as Director of the Chamber of Commerce, on the board of the local hospital and as a bank director. In 1980, he was named Tennessee’s Optometrist of the Year.

    Young Alumni Award
    Kelly Kerksick, OD ’02
    , founded Midwest Vision Care in Columbia, Illinois following her graduation. She serves as a Key Opinion Leader for Bausch & Lomb and Vistakon. In addition to lecturing internationally on a variety of subjects, she serves as chief editor for New O.D., an online optometric publication. She also serves on the advisory panel for Optometric Management and has been published in a number of publications, including the Wall Street Journal. She has served as a clinical examiner for the National Board of Optometry and as a faculty member for The Vision Care Institute in Jacksonville, Florida. She also serves as Director of Professional Services for Vision Source, a premier organization for ODs in private practice.

    Class of 2016 members who received their white coats:

    • Katherine Allen
    • Alex Amann
    • Jennifer Anderson
    • Brittney Angelo
    • Katherine Araiza-Brown
    • Feyisayo Aworunse
    • Caroline Babb
    • Erin Bales
    • Craig Baxter
    • Brennan Berwald
    • Steven Blake
    • Marie Bolin
    • Matthew Boswell
    • Joseph Brewer
    • Daniel Brigham
    • Eric Brinkley
    • Mitchell Brown
    • Natalie Brown
    • Michael Buchanan
    • Lindsey Burdick
    • Jamison Carr
    • Samantha Carter
    • Frank Carusone
    • Adeline Chan
    • Hunter Chapman
    • Inen Cheng
    • Lindsay Chitwood
    • Lee Compton
    • Christopher Connor
    • Halie Cottrill
    • Jansi Damarla
    • Shalini Dave
    • Kevin Davis
    • Samantha Devlin
    • Jaimen Dixon
    • Brooke Dugas
    • William Dunnam
    • Erica Durlacher
    • Emily Edwards
    • Stephen Ellison
    • Gabriel Fickett
    • Anthony Fioravanti
    • Trenton Gaasch
    • Dominique Garcia-Robles
    • Danielle Gretz
    • Angela Haas
    • Dahlia Haddad
    • Kristin Hammill
    • Hong-Ngoc Han
    • Christopher Harlan
    • Blake Hayden
    • Matthew Hennen
    • Hannah Holtorf
    • James Hoover
    • Lindsey Hubert
    • Joanna Hull
    • Gregory Johnson
    • Stephanie Johnson
    • Sarah Jones
    • Joseph Kelly
    • Jessica Kenney
    • Rachel Kenney
    • Tyler Kitzman
    • Christopher Kowalski
    • Leah Lentz
    • Lauren Lusardi
    • Adam Malik
    • Tabitha Margritz
    • Chalise Maybee
    • Spencer McConkie
    • Darah McDaniel
    • Scott McIntosh
    • Kirsten McKnight
    • Marla McNutt
    • Courtney Melchione
    • Winn Meredith
    • William Mitchell
    • Devon Morris
    • Jacob Mortemore
    • Andrew Neighbors
    • Taylor Neumann
    • Haley Nguyen
    • Elizabeth Nicksick
    • Brett O’Connor
    • Logan Oliver
    • Dillon Ott
    • Enrique Palacios
    • William Parsley
    • Michael Pegg
    • Monica Perry
    • Tram Pham
    • Robert Phyfer
    • Michael Polo
    • Kay Powell
    • Will Price
    • Jamin Quilla
    • Shaleen Ragha
    • Alexandra Reid
    • Christen Rice
    • Katie Richardson
    • Jonathan Routon
    • Christine Sager
    • Whitney Seltman
    • Karan Shah
    • Ruhina Shemna
    • Megan Shirey
    • Kelly Short
    • Andrew Shum
    • Amy Sickman
    • Brenton Smith
    • Jennyffer Smith
    • Megan Stanford
    • Anna Stephenson
    • Gregory Stewart
    • Gerald Stinson
    • Kyle Stott
    • Jamie Taylor
    • Danyetta Thomas
    • Emy Thompson
    • Ryan Tieu
    • Ashley Toland
    • Preslee Trammell
    • Christina Ulrich
    • Kara Vitus
    • Chelsea Wahl
    • Julia Wall
    • Rebecca Wenig
    • Ryan Wilkerson
    • Lauren Wood
    • Hillary Yungblut

    Photos from Convocation are being added to SCO’s Photo Galleries. A DVD of the ceremony may be ordered directly from Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church by calling (901) 722-6222.

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    Ford Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

    Nathan Ford, OD ’50, long-time optometrist and civic leader in Eastern Tennessee, recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Southern College of Optometry (SCO) in Memphis. The highest award bestowed by the college, the award is presented to SCO graduates who have made a lasting impact on the profession of optometry and the lives of their patients.

    Dr. Ford was presented his award by Richard W. Phillips, OD ’78, SCO’s president, during the college’s 27th annual Convocation ceremony honoring alumni and student achievement. An East Tennessee native who joined the Navy at age 17 during World War II, Dr. Ford became Cocke County Tennessee’s first full-time optometrist following his graduation from SCO in 1950.

    A devoted advocate for education, he was elected at age 27 to his local school board and later served four terms in the Tennessee State Legislature. Locally, he served as Director of the Chamber of Commerce, a bank director and was named Tennessee’s Optometrist of the Year in 1980.

    The practice he started in 1950 later recruited SCO graduates from the Classes of 1961, 1981, 1995 and 2010. Although Dr. Ford retired in 1990, his practice continues through Drs. Jeff Foster, Kurt Steele and Joy Stone as Drs. Foster, Steele and Stone Family Optometry in Newport. Dr. Ford and his wife, Mary, have been married 58 years and have three children and three grandchildren.


    Pictured: Dr. Nathan Ford, right, receives his Lifetime Achievement Award from Dr. Richard W. Phillips, president of Southern College of Optometry in Memphis.

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    Kerksick Receives Young Alumni Award

    Kelly Kerksick, OD ’02, received the Young Alumni Award from Southern College of Optometry (SCO) during the college’s annual convocation ceremony on Thursday, October 4 in Memphis. The award is presented to SCO alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years and have demonstrated a commitment to service, leadership and support of the college’s mission.

    Following her graduation from SCO in 2002, Dr. Kerksick founded Midwest Vision Care in Columbia, Illinois. She serves as a Key Opinion Leader for Bausch & Lomb and Vistakon. In addition to lecturing internationally on a variety of subjects, she serves as chief editor of New O.D., an online optometric publication.

    Dr. Kerksick also serves on the advisory panel for Optometric Management magazine and has been published in a number of publications, including the Wall Street Journal. She has served as a clinical examiner for the National Board of Optometry and as a faculty member for The Vision Care Institute in Jacksonville, Florida. She also serves as Director of Professional Services for Vision Source, a premier organization for optometrists in private practice.

    Dr. Kerksick is pictured receiving her award from Dr. Richard W. Phillips, president of Southern College of Optometry.

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    Student Loan Default Rate Remains at 0%

    Newly released numbers from the U.S. Department of Education show that SCO’s graduates are performing exceedingly well in their transition to optometric practice.  Student loan cohort default rates for Southern College of Optometry remained at zero percent for the 16th consecutive year.

    A cohort default rate represents the percentage of a college’s borrowers who have defaulted on their student loans. The national average was 9.1%, up from last year’s rate of 8.8%, yet SCO’s default rate remained at zero percent, an indication of the strong ability of SCO’s graduates to pay back their loans.

    “This is great news,” said Cindy Garner, SCO’s Director of Financial Aid. “Our graduates continue to have great success practicing optometry and repaying their student loans. The cohort default rate is an important measure of a school’s overall quality. It reflects our success in preparing our students to practice optometry.  This is a great accomplishment and it reflects admirably on each member of the SCO family.”

    In fact, the Memphis Business Journal reported on SCO’s success in an article, noting that the college leads all Memphis area colleges by having the lowest default rate of any institution in the area.

    SCO’s Financial Aid Office actively works with students to provide them strategies to manage their student indebtedness levels. From budgeting workshops to one-on-one sessions with a financial aid counselor, the college is committed to partnering with students to ensure their success in optometry. Student scholarships provided by SCO’s alumni and friends also play an important part in managing student debt levels.

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    Plough Foundation Awards SCO $300,000 Grant

    Southern College of Optometry, one of the nation’s leading optometry colleges and the only private optometry college in the South, has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the Plough Foundation.

    The grant will support a new building project that will provide SCO’s 500 students with new classroom facilities and state-of-the-art instructional space at its midtown Memphis campus.

    “The entire Southern College of Optometry community is grateful that the Plough Foundation shares our vision for enhancing the college’s commitment to leading the profession of optometry,” said Dr. Richard W. Phillips, president of SCO. “For 80 years, optometry students have come to Memphis for their education, and with the Plough Foundation’s support, we will strengthen our ability to continue to recruit top students to SCO and encourage interdisciplinary work between health care professions.”

    Founded in Memphis in 1932, SCO is one of only 21 optometry colleges in the United States. As technology and modern instructional methods advanced, the college outgrew its classroom space in the institution’s 11-story tower that was constructed at 1245 Madison Ave. in the early 1970s. An assessment last year determined that a new classroom facility and instructional spaces were necessary to meet the needs of 21st century health care students. The Plough Foundation grant will enable the college to provide new facilities for its students.

    “The Plough Foundation recognizes the importance of Southern College of Optometry to health care education, and we believe SCO’s work will continue to benefit Memphis, particularly in the great service the college provides to the community by incorporating patient care as part of its clinical education program,” said Scott McCormick, executive director of the Plough Foundation.

    SCO’s new building will be located on the expansive concrete patio space behind the college’s 11-story tower. Designed by Memphis-based Formus, Inc., the building will provide greater classroom space and flexibility, including enough room to accommodate campus-wide meetings and special events.

    An atrium and grand hall will connect the new building to SCO’s existing tower. Laboratory and other teaching spaces will be moved to the tower’s first floor in closer proximity of the new building to support the curriculum needs of SCO’s four-year academic program.

    “The students at Southern College of Optometry are grateful to the Plough Foundation for their support of optometric education here in Memphis,” said Stephanie Lew, president of the Student Government Association at SCO. “SCO students from across the country choose to come to Memphis because of the college’s outstanding reputation, and the Plough Foundation’s support will enhance SCO’s ability to continue to recruit top students with these new academic facilities.”

    The college expects the building to be ready for use in August 2013. When completed, the building project will provide an additional 23,016 square feet of space. To finance the $9.4 million project, SCO has launched a five-year, $4 million capital campaign. An advance phase has already raised $2.3 million. SCO’s Board of Trustees will finance the remainder of the project through investments and cost-savings measures over the five-year period.

    About Southern College of Optometry
    Southern College of Optometry was established in Memphis, Tenn., in 1932. SCO is an independent, not-for-profit institution of higher education with more than 500 students and residents from 40 states. The Eye Center at SCO serves nearly 80,000 patients annually, helping make the college one of the top in the nation for clinical optometric education. SCO’s Community Outreach Program reaches more than 12,000 children through vision screenings provided annually to Shelby County students in public, private and charter schools. For more information on SCO, please visit www.sco.edu.

    # # #

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    Scholarships Awarded to Class of 2016

    Thirty-four students from SCO’s Class of 2016 recently were recognized for their academic achievements with first-year scholarships collectively totaling $144,000.

    Thanks to alumni and friends of the college for making this year’s scholarships possible to these deserving students. A full list of scholarships and recipients follows the photos below.


    Group 1: (sitting, L-R):  Brennan Berwald, Halie Cottrill, Feyi Aworunse; (standing, L-R):  Frank Carusone, Aaron Buchanan, Joseph Brewer, Daniel Brigham, Jaimen Dixon, Hunter Chapman


    Group 2: (sitting, L-R):  Dani Gretz, Emily Edwards, Leah Lentz, Lauren Lusardi; (standing, L-R):  Gabe Fickett, Chris Harlan, Adam Malik, Trent Gaasch, Blake Hayden


    Group 3:  (sitting, L-R): Courtney Melchione, Marla McNutt, Darah McDaniel, Devon Morris; (standing, L-R):  Robert Phyfer, Brett O’Connor, Taylor Neumann, Monica Perry


    Group 4: (sitting, L-R): Kay Powell, Rebecca Wenig, Whitney Seltman, Amy Sickman; (standing, L-R):  Gerald Stinson, Will Price, Ryan Wilkerson, Preslee Trammell

    First-year students receiving scholarships included:

    • Presidential Endowed Scholarship ($10,000): Courtney Melchione, Lexington, VA; University of Mary Washington
    • Presidential Endowed Scholarship ($10,000): Amy Sickman, Parkville, MO; University of Missouri
    • Presidential Endowed Scholarship ($10,000): Rebecca Wenig, Cary, IL; Miami University
    • Presidential Endowed Scholarship ($10,000): Ryan Wilkerson, Lebanon, MO; University of Missouri-Columbia
    • Dean’s Endowed Scholarship ($7,000): Joseph Brewer, Pinedale, AZ; Southern Utah University
    • Dean’s Endowed Scholarship ($7,000): Daniel Brigham, St. Augustine, FL; University of Florida
    • Dean’s Endowed Scholarship ($7,000): Jaimen Dixon, Boise, ID; Brigham Young-University-Idaho
    • Dean’s Endowed Scholarship ($7,000): Emily Edwards, Cedarcreek, MO; Missouri State University
    • Dean’s Endowed Scholarship ($7,000): Marla McNutt, North Canton, OH; Walsh University
    • Board of Trustees Endowed Scholarship ($5,000): Frank Carusone, Columbiana, OH; Kent State University
    • Board of Trustees Endowed Scholarship ($5,000): Gabriel Fickett, Waynesboro, PA; Messiah College
    • Board of Trustees Endowed Scholarship ($5,000): Adam Malik, Madison, AL; University of Alabama-Huntsville
    • Board of Trustees Endowed Scholarship ($5,000): Devon Morris, Ocean Springs, MS; Millsaps College
    • Board of Trustees Endowed Scholarship ($5,000): Brett O’Connor, Jacksonville, FL; University of Florida
    • Board of Trustees Endowed Scholarship ($5,000): Kay Powell, Madison, WI; University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • Dr. Robert E. Federhan Scholarship ($5,000): Will Price, Lakeside, AZ; Brigham Young University
    • Dr. William R. Jackson Scholarship ($4,000): Brennan Berwald; Butler, MO; University of Missouri-Columbia
    • Dr. Earl W. Lusk Memorial Scholarship ($3,000): Lauren Lusardi, Phillipsburg, NJ; Ursinus College
    • SCO Alumni Endowed Scholarship ($3,000): Feyi Aworunse, Nashville, TN; Tulane University
    • SCO Alumni Endowed Scholarship ($3,000): Dani Gretz, Orange Park, FL; University of Florida
    • SCO Alumni Endowed Scholarship ($3,000): Gerald Stinson, Holly Springs, MS; University of Mississippi
    • Dr. Cheryl Johnson Memorial Scholarship ($2,000): Taylor Neumann, Council Bluffs, IA; University of Northern Iowa
    • Drs. Helen and Christopher King Scholarship ($2,000): Halie Cottrill, St. Marys, WV; Wheeling Jesuit University
    • Edgar Family Scholarship ($2,000): Darah McDaniel, Mountain Home, AR; Harding University
    • New Orleans Contact Lens Society Scholarship ($2,000): Hunter Chapman, Monroe, LA; Louisiana State University
    • Omni Eye Services-Memphis Endowed Scholarship ($2,000): Whitney Seltman, Alpharetta, GA; University of Georgia
    • Sullins Family Scholarship ($2,000): Monica Perry, Kingsport, TN; East Tennessee State University
    • Alston & Bird Endowed Scholarship ($1,000): Robert Phyfer, West Point, MS; Mississippi State University
    • Dr. J. Leonard Supman Memorial Scholarship ($1,000): Preslee Trammell, Greenville, MS; Mississippi State University
    • Dr. Ramona Porter Clifton Scholarship ($1,000): Blake Hayden, Owensboro, KY; University of Kentucky
    • Dr. T. Joel Byars Scholarship ($1,000): Leah Lentz, St. Marys, GA; University of Georgia
    • Dr. Thomas Gallaher and Mrs. Elizabeth Gallaher Scholarship ($1,000): Trent Gaasch, Peoria, IL; Austin Peay State University
    • Dr. Vaughn Parfitt Scholarship ($1,000): Aaron Buchanan, Morgantown, WV; West Virginia University
    • Drs. Charlene and Fred Burnett Scholarship ($1,000): Chris Harlan, Memphis, TN; University of Arkansas-Fayetteville

    Alumni and friends interested in supporting SCO scholarships for students may contact SCO’s Office of Institutional Advancement, at (901) 722-3216.

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    SCO Accepting Honorary Degree Nominations

    Southern College of Optometry is seeking submissions for names of distinguished optometrists and other individuals for consideration of honorary degrees to be awarded at commencement in 2013. The college invites you to submit the names and accomplishments of individuals to be considered; anonymous submissions are not permitted.

    Recipients must be of sufficient stature and character as to honor the college. Specific criteria include at least two of these: distinguished record of scholarship, outstanding contribution to society through humanitarian efforts, public service or education, and outstanding contributions to optometry or the optometric profession.

    Nominations and supporting details should be sent to Academic Affairs (Honorary Degrees), c/o SCO, 1245 Madison Ave., Memphis, TN 38104 or to degrees@sco.edu. The deadline is Friday, October 31, 2012.

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    Schnell Named CE Director

    Dr. Pam Schnell was named Director of Southern College of Optometry’s Continuing Education Program effective August 1, 2012.

    In making the announcement, Dr. Lewis Reich, SCO’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, said:

    “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Pam Schnell as Director of SCO’s Continuing Education Program. With the success and growing patient population numbers in The Eye Center, Dr. Trish Walker will be focusing more on her duties as Chief of Adult Primary Care. She has ably done double duty over the past several years as director of two programs, and we are indebted to Dr. Walker for her dedication and service. I know that everyone wishes her continued success in her very important capacity as Chief of Adult Primary Care.

    “Please join me in welcoming Dr. Schnell as she transitions into her new role as Director of CE. Both of these faculty members are to be commended for their leadership and service to our profession.”

    Dr. Schnell is an Assistant Professor at SCO and a 2001 graduate of the college. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) and a member of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD). After completing her residency, she became a faculty member at the State University of New York College of Optometry, where she taught courses and supervised interns in the Pediatric and Infant Vision Clinics. She held clinical privileges at Woodhull Medical Center in Brooklyn, where she supervised externs and residents in the outpatient, inpatient, and emergency departments.

    She has lectured at home and abroad, including several courses at the Israel Council of Optometry’s annual meeting. She also taught the Binocular Vision course for the Master’s Degree program at the Universidad de Aguascalientes in Mexico. She has presented posters at the AAO and COVD national meetings, and has authored several textbook chapters in the area of Pediatric eye care.

    Dr. Schnell joined the SCO faculty in August 2011, where she works in the Pediatric and Vision Therapy Clinics. Her primary areas of interest include infant and toddler eye care, visual development, and the treatment and management of special populations.

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    SCO Students Win Awards at NOA Conference

    Adam Young, ’14, and Marion Harris, ’13, were recently honored at the 44th conference of the National Optometric Association (NOA) in Toronto, Canada.

    Young, a native of Stone Mountain, Georgia, and a graduate of the University of Georgia in Athens, received an award. He earned the Cave Memorial Award, a scholarship sponsored by the NOA to recognize a student who has made a positive impact in the minority community.

    Harris, a native of Leland, Mississippi, and a graduate of Mississippi State University, also received the Dr. David W. White, Jr., Memorial Scholarship. Sponsored by the Mississippi Chapter of the NOA, the award recognizes an outstanding optometry student planning to practice in Mississippi.

    Young serves as SCO’s NOSA President. Also attending the NOA meeting was Brian Knight, ’14, SCO’s NOSA Treasurer. Knight accepted the Dr. David W. White, Jr. Memorial Scholarship award on Harris’s behalf as she was unable to attend.

    Young also presented a Powerpoint presentation to attendees of the conference about NOSA’s opportunity to help with a new program called Success in Sight. Success in Sight, founded by Dr. Janette Dumas, is a two-day, on campus program used to enhance SCO’s commitment to diversity and recruitment of minority students by introducing competitive minority high school students to the profession of optometry. Students were presented information and personal experiences that will assist participants in developing an understanding of the optometric profession, clinical care, and education preparation required for admission to optometry school.

    Pictured is a group photo of many of the attendees at the conference. Next year, the National Optometric Association conference will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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    Kehbein Joins Faculty

    Karen Kehbein, OD, joined the faculty of Southern College of Optometry in July 2012. She previously served two years on the faculty at Michigan College of Optometry, where she taught optometry students in lecture, lab, and clinic.

    A graduate of the Indiana University School of Optometry and the University of Michigan, she completed her residency in Pediatric Optometry at SCO in Memphis. She is a member of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and the American Optometric Association.

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